I’ll confess, one of the easiest things for me to feed Paige is a frozen piece of chicken (cooked, obviously). I’m talking chicken nuggets, or these great Barber Foods Frozen Stuffed Chickens (yum, they are a household favorite). We’ve found that Paige will not eat meat unless it’s very tender. She will try just about anything, but she’ll promptly spit it out if it’s not to her texture liking. She puts it in her mouth, starts to chew, then gives me this look like “I can’t eat this…”. Then I say, “You’re not spitting it out on the table or in my hand! Go to the trash can and spit it out!”. I know, it’s gross, but what am I supposed to do?! Don’t answer that. I know…discipline. Needless to say, when I look for recipes that the whole family can eat, I look for recipes that include tender meats, or at least a step that includes “tenderizing” the meat. These Pesto Chicken Rollups were perfect.
Another great thing about this recipe? It utilizes many herbs that are probably in your herb garden this summer!
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
- 1 clove garlic **
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 6 chicken cutlets (roughly 3-4 ounces each)
- Preheat grill to 400 degrees F. Combine parsley, basil, oregano, sage, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, oil and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a paste, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap, place one or two chicken cutlets on the plastic wrap and then cover cutlets with a second piece of wrap. Using a meat tenderizer (or the back of an ice cream scoop like I did!), pound the chicken from center outward. Flip chicken and both layers of plastic and pound the underside, achieving long pieces of meat. Once the cutlets reach about ¼-inch thickness, repeat the process with remaining cutlets.
- Remove chicken from plastic wrap and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons pesto over each piece in an even, thin layer. Begin rolling chicken from the widest end as tightly as possible. Fully coat all rollups with cooking spray and place on preheated grill. Use tongs to turn chicken rolls every 3 to 5 minutes until they are cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and desired crispiness is achieved. If rolls begin to unravel, poke them all the way through with a toothpick or skewer. Remove from grill and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Ok, so Paige didn’t exactly gobble these up, but she did take a few bites and didn’t spit it out (score!). Sometimes I think she will be a vegetarian one day, honestly it wouldn’t surprise me. But until then, I’m continuing to introduce her to new recipes as much as possible (and ones that are loaded with natural, herby flavors!).